While the idea of blockchain gaming has been around since CryptoKitties was launched in 2017, over the past couple of years the space has rapidly evolved and gained traction. Play-to-earn (P2E) is one of the year’s big themes in the crypto world, as crypto gaming flips the industry’s conventional approach on its head and pays players for engaging with their favourite titles.
If you’ve dipped your toe in the water of P2E, you’ll doubtless have heard of Axie Infinity, one of the earliest and still most popular blockchain games (more on Axie below). But there are many other P2E games, offering something for every gaming enthusiast. Here are five of the hottest titles for 2022.
Thanks to both its stunning trailers and repeated delays (it was originally slated for a 2021 launch), Illuvium has become one of the most hotly-anticipated P2E games for 2022. Illuvium is an RPG adventure game built on the Ethereum blockchain, based around fighting creatures known as Illuvials. It’s set in a rich and detailed world, allowing players to explore the game territory, capture and train Illuvials, and – like so many other P2E titles – deploy them against others in combat.
There are a few reasons why Illuvium has captured the attention of the crypto gaming world. Aside from some jaw-dropping visuals and a complexity that allows for many different strategies, the game dispenses with a dedicated currency and uses ETH – something that has gone down well with the core Ethereum community.
A real-time multi-player PvP game hosted on Solana and Binance Smart Chain, Battle of Guardians also allows players to pit their characters against each other. While it’s simpler than Illuvium, the gaming world is nonetheless detailed, and it’s compelling in its non-stop action across multiple realms.
Characters can have one of three different races, Guardians, Humans, and Demons, each of which differ in their attributes – Health Points, Damage, and Intelligence. There are three game modes: Story and Training, in which players learn the techniques they will need; Battle Arena, a PvP environment; and Bout, a winner-takes-all tournament.
As well as being able to buy and sell NFT characters in the built-in marketplace, players can also win the two in-game currencies. Battle of Guardians Share (BGS) is used for governance and trading NFTs, and can be staked for income. Fighting Points (FP) is used for entering tournaments.
Gods Unchained is another hugely popular trading card game, with both free-to-play and play-to-earn models.
Players collect cards depicting different gods, which are represented by NFTs and can therefore be bought and sold on the game’s NFT marketplace, in return for GODS, the native currency. Gods have different attributes, and can be pitted against each other, either in PvP mode or against the computer.
Players might own any number of gods, but select a hand with a specific number to play against an opponent. Win a round and your opponent’s life score drops; if a player’s life score falls to zero, their opponent wins and receives new gods cards as a prize.
The Sandbox is widely regarded as one of the most promising titles in the P2E world. Created by gaming giant Animoca, it’s a metaverse concept somewhat reminiscent of Minecraft. Players can create their own content, buying land and assets and constructing their own areas and environments. Because these are all NFTs, it’s also possible to sell plots, skins and avatars that have been created and developed in return for SAND tokens, the Sandbox’s native currency. Users can also earn SAND by completing quests. One of the most attractive features of the Sandbox is the ability for developers to create their own games for others to play, either for free or by paying SAND.
The user-generated nature of the Sandbox, and the different ways players’ efforts can be monetised, has made it an extremely popular metaverse destination, to the point where major brands are starting to advertise and build out a presence there. (Snoop Dogg even has a mansion there, where he hosts music events.)
Formerly known as RisingSun, Samurai Legends is more than a single game. Built on Binance Smart Chain, it’s a whole metaverse concept set in feudal Japan. As this ‘Samuraiverse’ descends into civil war and chaos, the Emperor Nakamoto calls on his warriors to restore order. Players can participate in quests, enter battle, acquire land and plunder – represented, of course, by tradeable NFTs – rise in power and influence, and ultimately become feudal lords themselves.
Samurai Legends is currently undergoing relaunch, and will be the setting for many games in the future – with the first being Samurai Rising. TimeX is supporting Samurai Legends with its relaunch, and will list the key governance and currency tokens for the metaverse when the process is complete.
It’s set to be a stellar year for the Samuraiverse, since a partnership with P2E guild CGU – which boasts around 100,000 players – will see thousands of scholarships rolled out for Samurai Legends in the coming months.
Last but definitely not least, Axie Infinity is one of the earliest and still one of the most popular P2E games. It’s a top choice for TimeX users, since Axie’s native currency (SLP) can be traded on the exchange – and the direct integration of Axie’s Ronin chain means transfers are fast and low-cost.
Axie Infinity is a Pokemon-style game that revolves around fierce but fun creatures. Axies – which look like dragons but are inspired by axolotls – all have unique digital DNA that gives them specific characteristics and an edge in different aspects of combat. The purpose of the game is to breed Axies (you’ll need some Smooth Love Potions, or SLP, Axie’s native currency, to do that), develop them, and deploy a team of Axies against other players’ teams.
To get started you’ll need three Axies, which you can buy on the Axie marketplace. Because they can be quite expensive, you can also borrow them from another Axie holder in return for a percentage of your daily earnings. These Axie ‘scholarships’ can be organised via CGU, which has a huge community of Axie Infinity players. If you manage to breed a rare and valuable Axie of your own, you can use it to increase your earnings, lend it to another player, or sell it on the marketplace.
A booming blockchain sector
Play-to-earn is one of the most promising and popular use cases for blockchain, and crypto is revolutionising game development. You can find out more about blockchain gaming and key projects by reading Metaverse Tokens: What they are and how to buy them.
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